Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed Review

In Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed, your main goal is to tear people’s clothes off. But while this is done under the guise that you’re destroying bad, vampire-like super humans, let’s not kid ourselves: this is a game about sexually assaulting people. Which is why I, in good conscience, cannot recommend anyone buy this game.

That it’s also a bad game is just the icing on the cake. A gross, gross cake.

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Made by Acquire (Tenchu: Shadow Assassins, Way Of The Samurai 3) for the PlayStation 3 and Vita (a PS4 version is coming this November), and published stateside by XSEED, Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed is a third-person beat-’em-up in which you wake up to learn someone tried to convert you into one of those aforementioned vampiric people. But after you’re rescued by a woman named Shizuku, you learn that you haven’t been completely converted, so she convinces you to use your new powers to hunt down the people who did this to you, and any other sun-haters you can find in a small section of Tokyo.

So, basically you’re Blade if he was a rapist.

Except that unlike in a traditional beat-’em-up, Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed doesn’t just have you running from one fist fight to the next. If only. Along with side missions that basically have you running errands, you also often find yourself conversing with your friends. The latter of which makes this rather tedious because those conversations just go on and on and on…. Sure, there’s some interaction to be had during these talks. You’re sometimes asked to pick which of three lines of dialog to say next, and you can easily fast forward through the non-interactive parts. But even when they’re making important points about the story, most of these chats just drag.

Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed also differentiates itself in the way you, well, beat ’em up. Much like a fighting games, different buttons have you attacking different parts of your enemies bodies: hitting the triangle button attacks their head, circle hits their torso, and X has you going for their legs. Then, once you’ve worn down their clothes or hats or whatever, you hold those same buttons to strip off those specific clothes (unless, of course, you play this on the “Easy” difficulty, which simplifies things). You can even, if you time it right, chain together your clothes tearing attacks. Y’know, because god forbid that sexually assaulting multiple people be difficult.

It’s also helpful that, depending on the kind of weapon you’re using — say if it’s a bat, stick, or a plastic glowing sword that in no way resembles a lightsaber — you can actually hit multiple attackers at the same time. Which comes in handy since you’re outnumbered in every fight, and your enemies don’t take turns. But while this sometimes makes Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed rather challenging, it also sometimes makes it rather frustrating, since the difficulty can vary greatly from fight to fight.

But while the fighting in Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed works as advertised most of the time, it sometimes suffers from some really bad camera issues. Granted, it usually fights you more when you’re running around than when you’re brawling, and we all know the camera is often an issue in third-person games, but here it is especially uncooperative. Which, coupled with the irregular difficulty spikes, often ruins whatever fun you might have with the combat.

Of course, whatever fun you might have with the combat in Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed is already negated by the sexual assaulting. But what’s ironic is that some of the sleaziness in Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed actually works in the game’s favor. Specifically, when you’re choosing a line of dialog. If you opt for the regular, respectful, or mature option, things are kind of, well, dull. But if you pick the disrespectful or scummy one, things get a bit more interesting because the other people in your life deservedly give you grief about it. In fact, it’s the only time this game’s sleazy nature seems okay, if only because you’re choosing to be a crude jerk, and your pals slap you down for it.

But then the game goes and does something uncool like identify a woman on the street as a “privileged skank.”

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Then there’s the whole thing about how the sexual assault mechanic doesn’t make any logical sense (and try and say that ten times fast without shuddering in disgust). It would be one thing if the vamps were totally covered up, and by ripping off an article of their clothes, you exposed them to the sun and thus killed them. But no, you have to take off all of their clothes — though some get to keep their underwear — while many of them walk around with just a hat or hair bow protecting their heads.

Along with its moral, social, ethical, and logical problems, Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed also has a number of technical issues that make it less than fun. I already mentioned the often unhelpful camera, but there’s also the fact that Akihabara is broken up into so many different sections that it seems like you spend more time loading them than you do exploring.

The Vita version of Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed also has a unique shortcoming in that when you use your smart phone — which is where you can read your emails and check your to-do list, among other things — you can’t use the touchscreen to select things. Y’know, unlike in other games. Or on a real smart phone. Obviously, this complaint doesn’t apply to the PS3 version (and won’t for PS4 when it comes out), but it’s weird that they seemingly forgot to implement something so obvious.

What’s also annoying about Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed is that there are bits that aren’t bad. For instance, the developers did a good job of capturing Akihabara, both in its layout and feeling (though, admittedly, I say that as someone who’s only been there once). Not only can you find such stores as Superpotato where they’re actually located, but they look like the real places from the outside. (Though my attempts to find the ramen place I ate at were unsuccessful.)

I also found the character Nanashi, your little sister, to be rather adorable in how she deals with you, calling you Brotagonist and other “bro”-based puns. Kind of makes me wish I had a precocious little sister. It’s just too bad the other characters are generic anime stereotypes.

The thing is, try though you might, you cannot divorce Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed from its sexually assault mechanic. It’s too much a part of it. You can dismiss it as a joke or parody, you can just say “oh, it’s a Japanese game, they have a different culture,” and you can just say it doesn’t count because they’re not real people or because they’re bad. But no matter what you say, the fact remains that the main objective of this game is to tear off people’s clothes against their will. And that’s just wrong.

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Of course, by confessing right from the start that you shouldn’t buy Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed on moral grounds, it begs the question of why I bothered writing this review. For starters, part of my job as a game critic is to warn people about bad games, no matter why they’re bad. Second, if you’re someone who could possible look past the game’s indefensible premise, you deserve to know that the game has other problems, and is thus not fun, so you shouldn’t waste your money.

But my real hope is that people who think it’s okay or even cool to sexually assault people will be so turned off by my intro that they won’t read any further and will instead buy this game…and are now hating themselves for wasting their money on this piece of crap. And then I hope someone they know sees that they bought this game, and realize what it says about them, and it results in them getting dumped or fired or yelled at by their mom.

Suffice it to say, I couldn’t delete Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed off my system fast enough.

SCORE: 0.0

 


23 thoughts on “Akiba’s Trip: Undead And Undressed Review

  1. Pingback: Worst Games Of 2014 - paulsemel.com

  2. I agree entirely with YOUR reviewers, Paul. You are wholey biased in your reviews. (Which I have read a couple of) Forget the accuracies of the district, your only positive in your review. This is a JRPG. AS:UU is not meant to be the smoothest, prettiest, or best game in the world. Everyone understands that, but you miss the point. Not every game is made for everybody. Still, a reviewers beliefs are not to be made part of a critics review.

    Here is what irritates me about your review more than you giving a 0/10 rating to a game that professionally would receive a 7/10. The game does implement stripping one’s opponents, but if you are to tell me that the combat is nothing more than that, I would laugh. There is more of a button mashing combat scheme than just stripping your opponents. Yes? Do the players simply press a button from the start an articles of clothing just disappear? No, they do not. Striping is simply a tool in the game that renders the bad guys entirely defenseless in the game, so that they burn away, in a flash, from the sun. The developers themselves know that just stepping a pseudo vampire of one article or two would kill said vampire. BUT, they made the game that way so that the player would not be restricted by time to perform different maneuvers on their foes. This also added to the difficulty in the game, while adding some more (albeit disturbing) Japanese humor.

    Now, to my point of you being biased in your reviews. I have read a review you did for Diablo 3 reaper of souls. You proved to everyone, by that review alone, that you are a biased critic. You even mentioned the fact that you love games made by Blizzard Ent.. Here is another point. Diablo IS a game based solely on killing your enemies. Yes, you still pick up items and craft others, and you go to new, well designed locations. Yet, I do not see how you can be the one to trash a game for one aspect, when you yourself enjoy games that the main point is the follow a story and kill everything in your wake just so that you can get stronger to kill even more things. Also, don’t give me some angelic response saying “B-but, you are killing demonic beings”.

    Critics such as yourself, with that holier than thou complex, giving unprofessional reviews that turn possible players away from a game that they might enjoy. It is NOT your job in any way to tell people what do because your mother would not appreciate it. Also, referring to those would be players that might actually like that game, would be too afraid to try the game because you threatened that they may get fired, or dumped; because of a GAME?! (Playing any video game at work could easily get you fired. I advise against it) You have crossed so many lines that a reviewer shouldn’t. THAT is why your readers are so upset. Just remember this, your readers review you as a critic just like you attempt to properly review anything else. Take your emotions and morals out of reviews that are supposed to be fact based. Until you are able to do so, you will never be considered a professional critic. Thus you will so nothing but ruin your own reputation as well as wrongly ruining developers’ reputations.

    Thank you.

    • Thanks for taking the time to write.

      However, there are some things I’d like to correct.

      First, I’ve been writing about video game professionally for 20 years. So my review is a professionally written review.

      Second, looking at Metacritic, most of my fellow professional critics gave this lower than a 7/10.

      Third, if I had kept my feelings about sexual assault out of this review, the game still would’ve gotten a 2/10. But the sexual assault aspect made this game less fun.

      Fourth, I just checked, and I don’t think I said that I love games made by Blizzard. And it would be weird if I did because I’ve never played World Of Warcraft or StarCraft as they’re not my kinds of games.

      Again, thanks for writing.

      • I hope you know that meta critic is a rating based on different reviews and then averaged out. Also, just because you have been doing reviews for “20” years does not make you a professional. It’s how you write reviews, not how long you have been writing reviews.

        I am just saying this; take as much emotion out of your reviews as possible. The facts are what your readers are looking for. Base the rating off of the actual facts. All aspects do need to be looked at. You need to try and put yourself in certain people’s shoes. Once you can do that and rate with all the pros and cons lined up, you will be considered a genuinely professional critic. I do not want to ruin you as a critic, I never mean to do so. Still, “20” years of reviews… You should have caught yourself before posting an abhorrent review. Also. Kudos on using a shoddy review to pull in so many readers. Ironically, your review actually pushed gamers to go out and buy the game.

        Good luck with future reviews.
        CS

        • Let’s take a different approach.

          If it was possible for me to “take as much emotion out of [my] reviews as possible,” if I was able to not be offended by the game’s offensive content, if said offensive content did not make the game that much less fun to play, it was still a terrible game that would’ve gotten a rating of 2/10.

          So the question then becomes, what’s the difference? Whether get the game gets a 0/10 or a 2/10, the review and the score screams “DO NOT BUY THIS GAME UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!” So why get annoyed or angry or whatever that I gave it a zero for reasons you don’t approve of when it would still get a negative review for reasons you do? It’s not like this was a great game but oh look some woman in the background has big boobs so let’s all hate it.

          Also, if you’ve played this game, why are you reading a review of it? You already own it, what do you care what someone else thinks of it? The point of a review is to inform people who have not bought the game what I think of it, me, my opinion, and mine alone. And then they use that information, along with other people’s reviews, previews, demos, trailers, and other info to decide whether or not to buy the game, knowing full well that it is ultimately their decision and their decision alone.

  3. I read your review and you are entitled to your opinion. BUT, to give a game a 0 when you stated how great the Aki area was represented, shows that you can’t review a game correctly nor do you know how.

    A game should be based on:
    MAJOR POINTS….
    Graphics
    Controls
    Story
    Fun factor

    NON-MAJOR POINTS…
    Voice acting
    Representation

    Learn it, go back, and base a score on this to let us know what it ranks. Do not include your “moral or christian” beliefs in it.

    • I still do not understand why my giving this game a 0/10 has caused such ire. It’s a terrible, terrible game, and if I hadn’t been offended by the sexual assaulting, or if that wasn’t a part of the game, this would’ve gotten a 2/10 or maybe even a 1/10. But what’s the difference? If I had loved the game, and it would’ve been a 7 or an 8 otherwise, maybe I’d see why there was such anger. But it’s a 2/10 vs a 0/10. Either way, the score screams “DO NOT BUY THIS GAME UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. DO YOU BUY IT FOR A DOLLAR. DO NOT ACCEPT A COPY AS A GIFT. DO. NOT. BUY.” I kind of feel like if I had given the game a 0.5/10, there would be no anger.

    • I find it interesting that of all the complaints about this review that I’ve gotten, the first to notice that I spelled Akihabara wrong (since corrected) didn’t come until more than a week after it went up. Kind of drives the point home that people are so quick to judge, especially when they don’t really know what they’re talking about.

      Oh, and thank you for catching my mistake, Anonymous. If that is indeed your real name.

  4. You should not get your personal social justice warrior agenda all over your video game articles.

    You blasted this game solely because it offended your sensibilities. Am I in a snowstorm or why are you being such a special snowflake? The game is targeted at a certain audience, mostly the hardcore japanophiles in the west and obviously the actual Japanese nerds over there. You don’t fall into that category, obviously; this does not mean you get to give the game a 0.0 score because you’ve been so butthurt by it.

    Assuming that “sexual assault” is the goal of the game means going past everything that the devs have put out in this game and about this game. The naked skin shown is cheesecake material, sort of like in Senran Kagura. It’s a game mechanic designed to please the shut in nerd and does so well, which is entirely in order because that’s the target audience here and not pleasing them would be pretty damn retarded; you won’t see housewives buying this game after all. You claiming that the devs have packaged sexual assault in here is literally calling the entire dev team liars to their faces, but not just that: also rapists, or at the very least sexual harrassers or assaulters, which is not something I’d expect from a halfway professional reviewer.

    A professional reviewer, in contrast, would have either sucked it up and reviewed the game based on it’s merits and nothing else OR would have just chosen not to review the game in the first place if it is so much against everything you believe in. For example: my friends ask me if I think the most recent FIFA is good. I go to play it, then I tell them it’s a fucking shit game and they should be playing Counterstrike Source instead because that’s much better. Plot twist: I never played a FIFA game in my life and play shooters almost exclusively. Is this the way to do an unbiased and balanced review? Well it’s exactly what you did.

    In short, getgud@jurnalesm and rent a caterpillar to excavate the mountainous piles of sand from your vagina.

    • So if I understand you correctly, you’re saying that if I had not been offended by the sexual assaulting, and had only judged the game on its fun factor, you wouldn’t have hated my review, even though the game would’ve only gotten a 1/10? Is this correct?

      Oh, and your FIFA example doesn’t work here because while you’ve never played a FIFA game, I actually played this one.

  5. You completely destroy your credibility as a reviewer by allowing your morals dictate the score of the game. This happens, from time to time, on other sites like Polygon (on Dragon’s Crown), and it was laughable there, too. You will never be taken seriously, like this. I suggest you review only games that you can morally handle, so that your personally beliefs do not cause a conflict of interest with the games review.

  6. So you didn’t like the morals of the game so it’s automatically terrible? NO game is worth a 0 rating. Doesn’t matter how much I don’t like it. I will NEVER rate a game that low. If it is terrible in all aspects, and runs terrible and everything? I might give it a 3, but it deserves a 3 for effort.

    This review is, honestly, something that should never have been written. Even if you DON”T like a game, you still need to have the writing responsibility to think outside the box and look at everyone’s perspective. I’ve written reviews for games I hated, but others did not, and I had to look from their perspective as well to give it a fair score.

    Kudos for your length and accurately balancing text and pictures, but this review is half just a rant about how you didn’t like the morals of the game.

    • Seriously, between a game promoting sexual assault and a review lambasting that game, you’re defending the game and claiming the review shouldn’t exist? Have I reached the bizarro part of the internet?

      • Bah, promoting sexxual assault? LOL I doubt anyone playing this game would ever strip real people, On the other hand,what do ypu say about games like GTA, COD, and other western games that include sex scenes? Are they promoting killing, drugs, prostitution, and sex?

        • Depends on the game. If it’s part of the story or fits what’s going on, as in GTA or COD, I don’t have a problem with it. But if the main mechanic is to sexually assault someone or if the objective was to kill as many cops as possible, something like that, then (obviously) I do.

          Oh, and for the record, I don’t enjoy the GTA games for a number of reasons, one of which is that I don’t want to play as a bad guy.

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